Happy Earth Day! 2020

It’s Earth Day!

Earth Day is an annual celebration of an environmental movement. Recently, I have been hearing how the Pandemic has really gone to reducing pollution since people are staying indoors. With next to little to no use of cars, trains, airplanes, factories, pollution has shown signs of reducing.  Even though this not a feasible way to help protect the environment, this might help Environmentalist to create a plan for the future on our fight to protect Mother Earth.

To read more about this topic check out NBC: Coronavirus lockdowns have sent pollution plummeting. Environmentalists worry about what comes next.

Here are a few of my favorite photos to celebrate Earth Day, Mother Earth!

 

Ways to Celebrate Earth day

  1. Unplug unused electric appliances.

  2. Washing your laundry in cold water.

  3. Give away your old books, toys, clothing  to the library or the  VVA (Vietnam Veterans of America) VVA Pickup

  4. Plant some flowers!

  5. Stop drinking out of plastic bottles- there are some great water bottles out there instead.

  6. Use reusable batteries- they do work! I highly recommend Eneloop Pro Batteries

  7. Recycle!

  8.  Use Energy Saver Light Bulbs, I recommend Phillips Energy Saver Light Bulbs They last much longer than a regular light bulb.

  9. Switch to e-books~ Save the trees!

  10. Use reusable grocery bags Zazzle~ Daphsam’s Reusable Grocery Bags

If you haven’t seen Moving Art on Netflix, here is a trailer of season 2 that will captivate you! There are 3 seasons of this beautiful cinematography with outstanding music. A great TV show to watch on Earth Day!

 

Happy Earth Day!

Mother’s Day Greeting Cards & Gift Ideas

Mother’s Day is a few weeks away and now is the time to think about what to buy for Mom! Especially during this time when we are not able to celebrate in person with our Moms.

Mommy Thank You Card Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

 

Mommy Thank You Card Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

My Mother’s Cavalier, Princess Fiona, loves her Mommy very much. Little Princess Fiona has been sick but has recovered very well from a long illness. It was my own Mother’s love and devotion to Princess Fiona that has kept Princess Fiona going. I know that if Princess Fiona could talk, she would be saying these special words to my Mother. This can be personalized!Happy Mother's Day Monarch Butterfly Card

Happy Mother’s Day Monarch Butterfly Card

You can change the inside message of this card! This Monarch Butterfly was photographed in Epcot’s International Flower Show.

Happy Mother's Day Watercolor floral Boarder Holiday Card

 

Happy Mother’s Day Watercolor floral Border Holiday Card

Watercolor by Daphsam Photography. Change the font and message inside to personalize to your needs.

 

Happy Mother's Day Footprints In Sand Card

Happy Mother’s Day Footprints In Sand CardTeddy Bear Mommy Happy Mother's Day Greeting Card

Teddy Bear Mommy Happy Mother’s Day Greeting CardHappy Mother's Day Dahlia And Zen Rocks Cards

 

Happy Mother’s Day Dahlia And Zen Rocks Cards A beautiful peaceful card for that Zen/Mediation Mother in your life!

Happy Mother's Day New Mommy Puppy Card

 

Happy Mother’s Day New Mommy Puppy Card This is a great card that can be for a new puppy or new baby that has arrived into the house.

Happy Mother's Day Blue Jay Greeting Card

Happy Mother’s Day Blue Jay Greeting CardHappy Mother's Day Robin In Wisteria Tree Card

Happy Mother’s Day Robin In Wisteria Tree Card A lovely Mother’s Day card featuring an American Robin in a Wisteria Tree. This is a watercolor and ink painting.

Some great websites for Mother’s Day gift ideas are:

 

Harry & David’s does flowers, food and fruit baskets.

Mother’s Day Gift Baskets From Harry And David’s

Mothers Day Butterfly Kisses

1-800-Flowers

Mother39s Day Gift Tower

They have many bakery goods gift baskets!

Wolferman’s Mother’s Day Gifts

Other sites to look for Mother’s Day Gifts:

Gifty Baskets

Esty

Uncommon Goods

Lemon Drop Gifts

For the Mom who loves to learn!

MasterClass~ Gift Card

Skillshare~ Gift Cards

Undemy~ Gift Cards

The Great Courses

Support your local florist and see if they are open to deliver flowers.

 

There are so many options online to make Mother’s Day special during this Coroanvirus time.   We just have to think out of the box right now.

 

 

 

Chronic Lower Back Pain~ Learning To Adapt

For over 10 years, I have had lower back pain. It wasn’t one thing that caused my lower back pain.  My problem areas is herniated disc at L3 and degeneration at L4-L5.

Thought the years, I have had to apart new ways to move my body, do daily activities and manage the pain as best I can.  Doing all of these with as minimal use of anti-inflammatory drugs.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, physical therapist, nurse. I am just a person who has been battling with lower back pain for years.  I am always looking for tips and tricks on managing back pain. I am writing this post to offer to those of you who have pain in their back looking for ways to ease it.

 

Here is what I have found to help me with lower back pain.

 

There are many different creams on the market that I have tried.

 

Here are my top picks-

VAL Lombardi Magnesium Cream

Great cream that I use at night before bed. It helps relax the muscles when I sleep. Sleeping is tough on the back so this is a big help. I have used this on a stiff neck and shoulder. Wonderful stuff!

HEMPACTIVE HEMP CREAM

This is great for all kinds of muscle pain. If I am having nerve pain in my back, it will not touch it but it’s good for mild back and shoulder pain.

Boiron Arnicare Cream

For me, this is good for very mild daily pain and stiffness.

Biotech CBD Cream 1000 MG

Great for nerve pain and when the lower back is on fire.

 

Let’s talk pillows! I find that my problems with my spine happen a lot during sleep. I am a stomach sleeper which is awful for the lower back. Over the years, I have tried so many different pillows. Here are the ones that I find to be fantastic for the shoulder, neck, and back.

 

 

Cervical Pillow Contour Pillow for Neck and Shoulder Pain, Coisum Orthopedic Memory Foam Pillow Ergonomic Bed Pillow for Side Sleepers Back Sleepers, Neck Support Pillow with Hypoallergenic Pillowcase

Ok, I know this might look uncomfortable. BUT, let me tell you that it’s so comfortable and fits the neck perfectly.  It gives a comfortable position for the shoulder to have some support. If you have tendonitis, minor tears in the shoulder or love to sleep on your side,  it takes the pressure off the shoulder.  This pillow has been a game-changer for me.  Slowly it has taught me to sleepless on my stomach and more on my back or side.  It took about 4-6 days to learn how to sleep with it.

 

 

KUNPENG Shredded Memory Foam Pillows for Sleeping – Cooling Bed Pillow Hypoallergenic with Premium Washable Cover for Back Stomach Side Sleepers Firm Soft Adjustable – CertiPUR-US – King Size

This is a great pillow to place between your legs for lower back support. It’s not to thin or thick.  To read more about good sleep positions for your lower back pain- Slide Show: Sleep Positions Mayo Clinic

 

 

The Original McKenzie Lumbar Roll by OPTP – Low Back Support for Office Chairs and Car Seats

This is a much needed lumbar pillow for your driving and sitting needs! Very easy to travel (when you travel again). It gives wonderful lumbar support.

 

Office Needs

For those who need to work on a computer and have trouble sitting for long periods for time.

 

 

 

Standing Desk: VersaTables

 

Extremely helpful for your back, hip pain-needs.  It gives you options for your pain level needs.

 

Exercise

 

Exercise has been a struggle for me throughout the years. My back spasms very easily and nerve pain follows.   Here is the exercise that has helped me keep moving and not get so stuff.

Scott Cole has such a great way of teaching gentle movements.

Scott Cole- Tai Chi

Gentle Yoga: 7 Beginning Yoga Practices for Mid-life (40's - 70's) including AM Energy, PM Relaxation, Improving Balance, Relief from Desk Work, Core Strength, and more.

Gentle Yoga: 7 Beginning Yoga Practices for Mid-life (40’s – 70’s) including AM Energy, PM Relaxation, Improving Balance, Relief from Desk Work, Core Strength, and more.

 

Again, very gentle and you can choose how much you want to do.

 

Pain Management

Acupuncture has been very helpful for managing my back pain and anxiety with daily pain. Here are some good articles about how it can help explain how it helps.

Acupuncture for back pain?

 

Healthline: Acupuncture For Back Pain:

 

Fashion

You might think, why is she bringing up fashion for lower back pain? Well, shoes and purses are something I have had to make adjustments with.  High heels and low heels have put a strain on my lower back. There are many different sneakers and shoes out there that are made for comfort. Here are my top ones that take the pressure off the lower back.

[SQUARE]:Natural Grey (Light Grey Sole)

All Birds

The most comfortable shoe/sneaker for walking and staying on your feet all day. I find they give great support for the lower back. I have been able to do hours of walking with these runners and not had strain placed on my lower back.

The loungers and slippers are also made for comfort!

PAIR

New Balance 990v5

These sneakers were the ones that I wore for my Italy trips. They are super comfortable and great support.

 

Purses

 

I have noticed that when in the past I use larger purses, then I have the habit of putting too many things in the purse. That puts too much pressure on my shoulder, throwing off my alignment.

Now with the use of a smaller purse, I put fewer items in there, keeping my alignment in check!

 

Again, I am not a doctor, this is just my advice for managing back pain.

 

I am some of my ideas are helpful to anyone who is suffering from chronic back pain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stream of Consciousness Writing: Beside You

What is beside me is my chair. Because of my back problems, sitting is not an option for very long. I work on my computer that is a standing desk (VersaTables). When I need to sit because standing all day is tiring, I have my chair right next to me to rest for about 20 minutes. If I go any longer, my back hurts.

 

 

 

 

Flash Furniture Mid-Back Black Mesh Swivel Ergonomic Task Office Chair with Flip-Up Arms, BIFMA Certified

 

So it’s a chair that is there for me when I need to rest.   I use to be able to stand all day but these days I am more tired:(  I do use a Coccyx pain relief pillow on top of the seat.

 

This is for Stream of Consciousness Saturday

Quarantine Questions For A Calm Mind

Every day, more news comes out and you wonder, “When will it get better?”

We have hard times ahead and it can get very overwhelming.  Here are a few Quarantine Questions for you to ask yourself in the days, weeks, hopefully not months ahead.

 

1. What am I grateful for today?

 

promote post

Photography by Daphsam

2. How will I move my body today?

 

IMG_2003

Duke, Daphsam’s Labradoodle

3. Who can I check in with today, facetime, call, text, make a connection?

deskjob337

Illustration by Daphsam

4. What can I unplug from for a couple of hours and how will that benefit me?

 

IMG_0518

Procreate digital design by Daphsam

5. Have I meditated today for just a couple of minutes?

 

My Post (10)

Photo from Pixabay

6.  What can I draw, cook, write, sing to make me feel good today?

 

IMG_9091

Watercolor by Daphsam

9. Have I done my stretches today?

 

Yoga, Calm, Release, Stretching, Golden Hour, Nature

From Pixabay 

 

10. Have I said my positive affirmations today?

 

affirations

Photography by Daphsam

Saturday Gratitude Activity!

Gratitude

 

It’s hard to always sit down and write out all the things you are grateful for. There is always something to do much more important. So I decided to come up with this Gratitude Activity.

dahlia with zencopyright

 

Take the day of the week and use that day to come up with what you are grateful for. It can just be words or full sentences. It is all up to you!

For example Saturday

Smiles from my kids

Apple pie

Taking a walk with my dogs

Under Armour fleece pants

Reading my page a day calendar

Dogs that have been and are currently in my life

Art that I create daily

Yams with corn and feta cheese

 

This is a fun challenge that you can do every day or as much as you can. At the end of the day, good or bad, remind yourself of the things, people, activities that you are grateful for.  It will only help.

 

 

 

 

 

 

When Boredom Strikes!

 BOREDOM!

 

Why is it that I go through days where I find there are not enough hours for me to get things done.

 Then there are other days when boredom strikes out of nowhere. I find that on days where it’s raining; the weather is gloomy, boredom rears its ugly head.

 

IMG_2506

Daphsam Photography

Here are a few of my ideas when boredom strikes you!

 

Television

I love TV, and there are some great streaming shows on currently that I’d like to share with you.

Amazon Prime

Downton Abbey

Poldark

Jack Ryan

Victoria

Durrells In Corfu

Tiny House

Netflix

Virginia River

Annie with an E

Grace and Frankie

The Crown

Instant hotel- reality


 

Audibles

If you’re not into watching television, Audibles.com is an excellent site hooked up with Amazon that you can download a book and listen to it. I have listened to my audiobook doing some activities, such as:

1. Cleaning the house

2. Doing laundry

3. Taking a walk

4. Do some watercolor or drawing

5. Preparing dinner

For The Gamer

I have two iPad apps that I highly recommend.

Jigsaw Puzzle

Jigsaw puzzle, which gives you a chance to pick many different puzzle designs and you can choose the number of pieces you would like to accomplish up to 400 pieces.

 

Ticket To Ride

Ticket To Ride is a fun family board game that I turned into an iPad app. You can play on your own with computer characters or online with people around the world.

review for Ticket To Ride

 

Take Up A Hobby

Taking an online class can be a lot of fun. Many are self-pace, very engaging and you can learn many things! I have taken classes at:

  1. Skillshare.com

  2.  Udemy.com

  3. Mybluprint.com

Mindfulness

Maybe now is the time to sit down with a cup of tea, coffee, hot chocolate and explore how you are feeling at the moment.

IMG_1468

Here are some journal prompts:

 Take a look around your surroundings, when your eyes catch something of interest, start to free write. Don’t think about it. Just begin writing for 5 minutes.

2. Write about a moment you had in the past few days that you would like a “do-over.”

3. Create your wish list of all the things you would like to happen. It’s for your eyes only; have fun with it.

4. Write about someone you admire.

5. Write a letter to the 16-year-old you.

Another way to deal with boredom is to do some meditation. I highly recommend the Insight Timer app this app has many easy ways to take some time for yourself.

Get out and take a walk! Being with nature will bring fresh air to your lungs, clear your head and get you out of your boredom funk.

After in summer

Daphsam Photography

 Turn your boredom around with these helpful tips!